Niels Swinkels

Native Dutchman Niels Swinkels is a freelance journalist, musicologist, and sound engineer. Before moving to San Francisco, he was the arts editor and senior classical music/opera critic for Brabants Dagblad, a regional daily newspaper in the Netherlands. As a freelance writer and sound engineer, he currently works for San Francisco Opera, KALW Local Public Radio, Elevation Online, Earprint Productions, and others.

Articles by this Author

Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Blomstedt: Insight and Mastery Mesmerize
April 9, 2014

When he is back in town to solidify his position as the Symphony’s Conductor Laureate, Herbert Blomstedt conducts the repertoire he loves, and that San Francisco audiences most love to hear from him.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra  Philharmonia Baroque's Vivaldi Extravaganza
April 4, 2014

Vivaldi’s vocal whirlwinds are as nothing to the massed forces of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorus as they mount the extravagant oratorio Judith triumphans.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra  Philharmonia Baroque: Model Ensemble
March 8, 2014

The ever-elegant Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra probes some lesser-known composers from the 17th and 18th centuries, to the usual grand effect.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
    Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet: As Good As It Gets
February 28, 2014

 A great ensemble visits San Francisco for the first time and leaves listeners swooning.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  When Everything is Wonderful at the Symphony
February 21, 2014

Delights to be had at the S.F. Symphony’s current outing include cellist Alisa Weilerstein and conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, playing Haydn and Olympic-skaters-timely Rimsky-Korsakov.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Kremerata Baltica Ventures Into Weinberg's Desolate Landscapes
February 2, 2014

As part of the S.F. Symphony Great Performers Series, Kremerata Baltica stops by on its six-city tour promoting a release of some of Weinberg’s orchestral and chamber works.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
   One Pair of Shoes: Conductor and Violinist Bows Beethoven
January 26, 2014

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, with Pinchas Zukerman as conductor and violin soloist, goes all-Beethoven in its San Francisco outing, to admirable effect.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Musical Color: Bates and Bewitch
January 10, 2014

Color the S.F. Symphony’s program “Bates” and “Beethoven,” for its unusual pairing of an old master with a youthful and inventive challenger.

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Choral REVIEW
 Magnificat  Magnificat Awes With Christmas Mass
December 22, 2013

17th-century music specialists Magnificat returned to the stage with a splash in a beautiful recreation of a Christmas mass.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra  An Operatic <em>Messiah</em> From Philharmonia Baroque
December 14, 2013

Taking audiences on a delightfully fresh musical journey with a 271-year-old oratorio, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale hit all the right notes.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra  A Moving Baroque Tribute to Nelson Mandela
December 7, 2013

PBO celebrates the life and work of Nelson Mandela by switching its program to feature a ceremonial work typically performed to honor state luminaries.

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Choral REVIEW
   S.F. Choral Society <br>Golden Gate Men's Chorus Two Choirs, At One, <em>All-Night </em>
November 15, 2013

Amassing to perform Rachmaninov’s Vespers and other sacred works, S.F. Choral Society partners impressively with the Golden Gate Men’s Chorus.

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Artist Spotlight
November 11, 2013

Marc-André Hamelin is in a series of residencies and starts a tour with the Pacifica Quartet in S.F. Here, he talks about music and the mystery and miracle that is human creativity.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Before the Tour, S.F. Symphony Pleases the Crowd Here
November 8, 2013

It doesn’t get much better than hearing Michael Tilson Thomas’s S.F. Symphony play a Copland masterpiece, not to mention other works being prepped for a brief tour.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Cal Performances  Silk Road Ensemble Drones On
October 27, 2013

The Silk Road Ensemble continues to explore multicultural artistic expression, but on occasion it falters with uninspired trifles.

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Choral REVIEW
 California Bach Society  Cal Bach Society's Testament to Monteverdi
October 11, 2013

Transparent choral sound and pristine accompaniment mark Cal Bach Society’s performance of Monteverdi’s monumental Vespers.

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Artist Spotlight
October 11, 2013

Greatly preferring performing live to recording, pianist András Schiff reflects on his love of Bach and Beethoven and discusses pedaling, music memory, and historical performance.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
   A Mighty San Francisco Wind Ensemble
October 5, 2013

The season opener of the San Francisco Wind Ensemble's second season was a strong display of great musical things already happening, and a very promising indication of great things to come.

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Chamber Music REVIEW
 Gold Coast Chamber Players  Gold Coast Chamber Players Mine Hungarian Passion
September 15, 2013

String compositions, drenched in emotion and brilliance, are the tasty Hungarian bill of fare in the Gold Coast Chamber Players’ latest program.

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Festival REVIEW
 Music@Menlo  A Spectacular Spectrum, Into the Light
July 27, 2013

The latest Music@Menlo concert explores emotional contrasts in music, both secular and sacred.

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